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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Homeland Security has given states a little more time to comply with new regulations on how they issue driver’s licenses. The new rules are designed to make a driver’s license a more reliable form of ID. But Pat Loeb tells us states have balked at the short timeline and large expense of the new rules.
PAT LOEB: Congress passed the Real ID Act two years ago as an anti-terrorism measure.
It required states to adopt uniform security standards for their licenses by May 2008, but the Department of Homeland Security didn’t issue guidelines on those standards until yesterday.
Congress was threatening to hold up new anti-terror measures unless states got more time to comply, so the department extended the deadline to January 1, 2010.
But states still have concerns. The California Department of Motor Vehicles, for instance, estimates the new rules will cost the state half a billion dollars.
Spokesman Mike Marando says the state also worries that some provisions could harm its citizens’ privacy.
MIKE MARANDO: We’re not going to adopt anything that will be in conflict with any of our privacy laws here.
Homeland Security says states can opt out of the regulations but then their driver’s licenses wouldn’t be accepted for things like air travel or entry to federal courthouses.
I’m Pat Loeb for Marketplace.
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